Naples: Manuscript, 1758. Contemporary Vellum. 8vo (19.1 x 13.2 cm). Contemporay stiff vellum. Spine darkened; spotting on covers; Manuscript title on spine. Collation: , 425,, [3-Indix], [1- Spiritual Acknowledgement of Author] pp. + 16 hand drawn plates; 9 full page; 4 folding and remaining 7 smaller tipped in drawings.
The Latin text is exceptionally well written and easy to read, for the most part notwithstanding the periodic use of abbreviations. The first part deals with, sound, odors, flavors, heat and physical and fluid mechanics.
The second part, and more in your interest, deals with the "Experimental Physics II. The Form and Nature of Bodies" wherein the section on light and optics occupies pp. 213-329.
There is an appendix that concerns with climatic aspects weather, viz rain, frost, snow, rainbows, lightening, as well as light phenomena associated with the moon, i.e. corona and paraselene. Lastly, there is a short section on meteors.
The colophon at bottom of p. 245 translates to: "Done at Tramutola, the 5th of July, 1758, according to the teaching of the Reverend Father Giuseppe Orlandi, of the order of the Celestines. The Lord Giuseppe de Niceoli studies in Naples in 1744. I have transcribed since his writings and studied under my brother's direction the sieu(sic) Vincenzo Marlotta, doctor of Philosophy and Medicine. (signed) Andrea Marlotta, student."
On the verso of the colophon the Italian text reads: “It is in vain that nature boasts of hiding its profound secrets. Praise to God. May the Blessed Virgin correct my faults." "Andreas Malrotta" Signed at bottom of the page. Very good. Item #0000799
The teaching of Galilean and Newtonian physics and Leibniz mathematics in Italy in the 18th century was slow in coming, particularly with Catholic Universities due to Pope Benedict XIII's desire to clear out all Jesuit schools, not only in Italy but elsewhere.
The teaching in Naples represented by this manuscript most likely came at a time when there was less scrutiny of what was being taught outside of Rome. Giuseppe Orlandi is mentioned in conjunction with one of the moments of glory in the field of mathematics in the 18th century that the University of Naples enjoyed, but had to compete with rival institutions which limited its influence.( Feingold and Navarro-Brotons, Universities and Science in the Early Modern Period. p.137, Springer, 2006).